Seaside home design: bright colours and fresh ideas


Inducing a sense of relaxation, this seaside home by John Croft Design is perfectly calming.

John Croft seaside home design - balcony views

John Croft seaside home design - light bedroom

John Croft seaside home design - brightly coloured bed

John Croft seaside home design - lime green armchair

John Croft seaside home design - brightly coloured cushions

John Croft seaside home design - circular mirror John Croft seaside home design - colourful interior design

John Croft seaside home design - timber furniture

Sitting on the salty shores of the New South Wales north coast, a contemporary-style home with dark and heavy formal furnishings was at odds with its surroundings. The five-bedroom, four-bathroom home was only 18 months old when the current owners bought the property to use as a holiday home and rental property. With this in mind, it was important the interiors were not only practical, but also made guests feel as if they were on holiday as soon as they walked in the door.

More than seven years ago the owners were referred to John Croft Design by friends who were clients of the Brisbane design firm. They enlisted the help of senior interior designer, Renee Burgess, to supply furniture and accessories for their Brisbane home. This time round they knew exactly who to call to rejuvenate their New South Wales property and turn it into a bright and stylish residence.

“First thing was to get rid of the heavy, velvet drapes and pelmets and insert shutters,” says Renee. Shutters are a modern style of window covering which provide privacy without interrupting the flow of natural light. Sheer curtains were also installed as window coverings to achieve the same purpose, but also for their lightweight aesthetics, allowing the ocean breeze and enticing salty smell to fill the home.

The ocean heavily influenced the home’s interior finishes, from the grain-washed timbers to the colour palette of the decor. “Greens and blues with hints of red and orange were used to revive the space,” continues Renee. The main living and dining area on the ground floor is particularly symbolic of the home’s overall feel. Spacious and fresh, the interior is relaxed yet detailed, with colour and texture adding warmth and character. A versatile design and durable materials such as linen lounges and a gas fireplace mean this rental property is comfortable throughout the year.

The colour scheme continues into the bedrooms and while all are decorated so they flow together, each has a sense of individuality. Worked into the interior design are existing upholstered bedheads fixed to the wall in some rooms, however bright colours and chic decor such as bed linen, table lamps and rugs have revitalised the bedrooms, giving them a contemporary feel. Employing more of a soothing palette, the master bedroom is filled with lighter hues and a round mirror hanging on the wall reflects the outside ocean views. Renee has kept the bedroom designs practical and spacious enough to allow for a fresh and light atmosphere without compromising on style.

The homeowners’ favourite room is the upstairs library with its exquisite built-in, wall-length bookshelf and warmer tones. This was also the only room in which the owners contributed a piece of furniture that they chose themselves — the patchwork armchair that sits proudly opposite the sofa. Inspired by this piece, Renee created a cosier space where one can retreat to read a book or enjoy a quiet cup of tea and take pleasure in the ocean views beyond the alfresco.

With help from the team at John Croft Design, this dark and dreary seaside home has been rejuvenated and is now filled with colour, light and that invigorating ocean breeze.


John Croft Design Pty Ltd
07 3257 0633
Photography Clive Buxton

Originally from Home Design Magazine Volume 16 Issue 6